Facebook Conquers The Web With Its Open Graph and Big Plans For 2011

Last year was certainly the year that Facebook spread its wings, and 2011 is already shaping up to be even bigger and better for this social media giant. By the end of 2010, Facebook had already surpassed Google to be the most-visited website in the United States. A recent study from Experian Hitwise disclosed that Facebook earned 8.93% of all website traffic last year, while Google shrunk to a still modest 7.19%. The previous year in 2009 held Google at the top of the list followed by Yahoo mail in second and Facebook in third. With such amazing growth rates unseen be even its largest competitors it looks like Facebook is going to remain unchallenged as top dog for years to come.

Facebook Top 10 Most Visited Websites - ShopTab

Beyond its success with visitors, Facebook has also remained on top of the search engine lists. In both 2009 and 2010 Facebook was the number one searched result. In fact, last year four variations of the term “Facebook” were in the top 10 results and accounted for 3.48% of searches overall.

Facebook Top 10 Most Searched Terms - ShopTab

Last year in July, 2010 Facebook Grew to 500 million users. Only a few short months later in 2011, Facebook can proudly boast over 600 million users. With 700,000 users joining daily, Facebook may be well on its way to 1 billion users by the end of the year.

Facebook has continued to grow and integrate many exciting new features. Recently Facebook has launched some big additions such as Facebook Credits, Facebook Places, the new Facebook Messages. It has improved its page design, social plugins, and the user experience, and has further developed its (debatably) most influential contribution to the web, the Open Graph.

Facebook Open Graph - ShopTab

Facebook’s Open Graph is a system that socially graphs and connects all the things web users interact with online. With a few simple lines of code a website owner can connect his or her site to Facebook, so what a user does off Facebook provides Facebook behavioral data about that user. This provides some amazing opportunity to see what customers are really interested in and suggest to them things they actually want to see. A more social, personalized web experience. We are excited to see where these big ideas take Facebook and eCommerce in the years to come.

As Facebook has evolved, so has its users. Businesses and individuals continue to find creative and innovative ways to leverage the ever-changing features of this social media giant to connect with people and build names for themselves. In 2011 I predict we will see businesses using more engaging and imaginative ways to build relationships with fans. Expect to see more interactive concepts and eCommerce being brought to Facebook. The use of Facebook Credits will no doubt be a game-changer for Facebook and will soon spread beyond Facebook, and perhaps even beyond the web.

Join in the conversation below and share with us how your business leverages Facebook to build relationships with its customers. What new Facebook tools do you like best, and which do you see making the most noise here in 2011?

Zach Beattie

Zach Beattie

Hi, I'm Zach! Welcome to the ShopTab blog, the best place to get the latest and greatest tips and tricks for Facebook selling and marketing your Facebook shop. Feel free to email me at zach (at) shoptab.net (yep, that's a real email) if you want to connect. I'd love to hear from you.

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  • bailey

    I’m still confused…
    “…so what a user does off Facebook provides Facebook behavioral data about that user.”

    Is my behavior limited to Facebook-related activity?  If I were to bookmark or comment on a blog, or Favorite a YT video, is this activity passed through FaceBook’s metadata? 

    Also, can the external properties that implement Facebook’s open graph manipulate use this metadata for their own use, in the same way that FB uses it for theirs?

    Finally, was the OG protocol written by Facebook?  I take it, it’s NOT open source??

    thx in advance for helping a non-techie understand this….

  • 1) As of now Facebook’s
    Open Graph API only grabs data from Facebook’s social plugins such as Like
    Buttons, Comment Boxes, etc. If you were to bookmark a page or favorite a
    YouTube video Facebook would not know this or be able to hold any records on
    it. You must interact with a page using a Facebook-related activity for it to
    enter the Open Graph Metadata.

    2) Those that place
    Facebook’s Open Graph Social Plugins on their website do not have access to the
    metadata from Facebook in the same way. The benefits to businesses are to help
    make your page social and more valuable to your customers. When someone Likes a
    page on your website it will share this interest on that users Facebook page in
    the form of a status update. This is free press for your website in a powerful
    digital word of mouth form. When other users then go to your website they are
    able to see that their friends have liked this page. This provides a sense of
    trust that is extraordinarily difficult to create otherwise. In addition to all
    that website owners are able to see what specifically is of interest to
    visitors. Instead of knowing that a particular page is popular, you can now
    understand which items on the page are really driving traffic.

    3) Yes the Open Graph
    protocol was written and designed by Facebook. It is not open source.